Go­ing off piste

Alpine style is get­ting a mod­ern makeover, says Amelia Thorpe

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Alpine chalet style is get­ting a mod­ern makeover, ob­serves Amelia Thorpe

Chalet de­sign has evolved with star­tling speed rem­i­nis­cent of winnning bob­sleigh duo Robin Dixon and tony Nash at the 1964 Win­ter Olympics ; one mo­ment it was all stripped pine, ging­ham checks and glüh­wein, the next it was Minimalism, fur rugs and ne­gro­nis.

‘A chalet in the moun­tains rep­re­sents es­capism from day-to-day life’

‘the cur­rent trend is for a time­less lux­ury,’ says in­te­rior de­signer John Beven of Wilkin­son Beven. Beau­ti­ful nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als, such as grey­washed tim­ber and rough-cut stone, cho­sen to re­flect the rugged moun­tain en­vi­ron­ment, are com­bined with lux­u­ri­ant tex­tures, in­clud­ing wool, cash­mere and faux fur. af­ter a day on the slopes, com­fort is king, so so­fas are deep and mat­tresses cloud­like. But all of this doesn’t mean that tra­di­tional alpine style is com­pletely lost; de­sign­ers such as andrew laugh­land and Rus­sell Jones use horn beakers to make a con­tem­po­rary pen­dant light and Nicky Do­bree spec­i­fies tra­di­tional tim­bers for wall pan­elling and floors with unique tex­tured fin­ishes.

Spa bath­rooms and cinema rooms reg­u­larly make it on to the lux­ury

wishlist, while heat­ing and home en­ter­tain­ment sys­tems have be­come in­creas­ingly so­phis­ti­cated. These days, even a mod­est chalet will ben­e­fit from plenty of thought on its light­ing; a va­ri­ety of light sources, in­clud­ing lamps, down­lights, up­lights, fea­ture lights, pic­ture lights and niche lights, are now de rigueur.

But Nicky is quick to em­pha­sise the need to stay with chalet in­te­ri­ors that re­flect the moun­tain en­vi­ron­ment. ‘Cre­at­ing a sense of place—a re­minder of where you are—is very im­por­tant,’ she says. With this in mind, she em­ploys a tra­di­tional pal­ette of nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als, al­beit in more con­tem­po­rary and clean-lined ways.

‘A chalet in the moun­tains rep­re­sents es­capism from day-to-day life—it’s not some slick apart­ment in the city,’ Nicky de­clares. ‘It’s all about cre­at­ing a co­coon—a place where you will play games around the fire and cel­e­brate good times with fam­ily and friends.’

‘Cre­at­ing a sense of place is very im­por­tant’

Laugh­land Jones Tra­di­tional ele­ments used in mod­ern ways—even the pen­dant light is made from horn beakers (www.laugh­land­jones.co.uk; 01233 732466)

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